It has been all over the internet. I don’t want to retell the story of what has taken place regarding the invitation to Louie in giving the benediction at the Inauguration. If you haven’t read what transpired, I think THIS is a good place to start.
As I have read a handful of opinions on what has transpired there is something that has struck a nerve in my heart. Let me begin by saying that I do not know Louie personally. I have some very good friends that know him well and speak the world of him. I have listened to 8-10 of his sermons and have always enjoyed his teaching. I believe that he has had a phenomenal impact on college students for generations through Passion Ministries. I have an incredible amount of appreciation and admiration for his heart and faithfulness. I also appreciate how he has handled this situation.
The issue that really bothers me in the conversation that is happening right now is the way ‘anti-gay’ is being used. Homosexuality is a sin. The Bible is clear on this issue. However, the Bible doesn’t instruct us to treat homosexuals as outcasts. It calls us to walk in repentance and invite others along the journey with us. Homosexuality is a sin in the same way that heterosexual extra-marital sex is a sin. Further, it is a sin the same as intoxication, pride or idolatry.
So, if ‘anti-gay’ is the same as being ‘anti-sin’ then I think we should be fully behind this lingo being tossed about in the media. But, if ‘anti-gay’ is about being ‘anti’ an individual who is walking in sin then we missed the mission and message of Jesus Christ all together. The gospel is a gift that brings us freedom from our sin enslavement. Those of us who follow Jesus have been called to spend time with those who live life hopelessly entrapped by sin – not treat them like lepers.
Jesus taught a message that was offensive and polarizing in his day. As we are faithful to carry that same message into our contemporary culture, it will continue to be offensive and polarizing. Yet amidst Jesus’ offensive message he loved on people who were deep in the trenches of sinful living. The woman at the well was shocked that he would even speak to her (John 4). That surprise was surely a reaction to the way others treated her.
As Louie has done in his faithful obedience to Christ’s model, let’s communicate the offensive and polarizing message of the entire Bible. Let’s proclaim with authenticity our own sinfulness and rhythm of repentance as we walk deeper in our relationship with Jesus Christ. Let’s be stewards of THE truth. Let’s also be stewards of the love and compassion which we find in the life of Jesus. Unfortunately, demonstrating the love of Jesus will often times be just as polarizing (to a different audience) as the truths of his message.
Let’s be people who love the truth and are disgusted by sin (in our own hearts and the sin around us). Let’s be people who are constantly loving people as we carry an ‘anti-sin’ message through the medium of love, hope, and reconciliation.